Tennessean Slide Collection Found In East Nashville Exhibits At Metro Archives

One man’s estate sale item is another’s historical museum exhibit!

A couple years back a friend of mine found boxes of slides for sale at an estate sale in East Nashville. He gifted them to me knowing I’d dig through them and do something cool with them.  Turns out they have a HUGE historical relevance.

The collection belongs to Harmon Dale Ernsberger, a photographer for the Tennessean in the late 1950’s. He captured some of the first color photos of the school integration protests and all other images that were linked to news stories.  There are many images of our beloved Shelby park, car crashes, a train crash, a school bombing and local weather. In one box his camera, journalism badge, slide projector and film rolls were also found.


I shared my collection with Metro Archives within the Nashville Library and they were excited to offer an exhibit. Dates will be announced soon. They are looking at May of 2018. FREE TO THE PUBLIC.

protest from newsletter

“The Ernsberger Slide Collection
The Metro Archives will have a small display of the Ernsberger slide collection in May, date to be determined. This is a small collection consisting mostly of slides and equipment from former Tennessean photographer Harmon Dale Ernsberger. The slides in this collection are a combination of local Nashville events and personal materials, and depict significant events in our city, including school integration protests in 1957, various accidents and weather damage, and images of Hattie Cotton School after its bombing in September of 1957.
Pictured above: Protest of the integration of schools, Glenn School, 1957.”

There were hundreds more slides and negatives of images not related to local history. I don’t know that the exhibit will include these items. Here are just a few personal and travel shots relevant to the era.





Credits: Doug Sherrard of Music City Record Convention purchased the slide collection in East Nashville. Jason Galaz is the current owner. Metro Archives has the items on loan to exhibit and document local history.


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